Artistri Sud is a charitable organization launched in 2009 and based in Montreal. It was founded to respond to the needs of craftswomen in developing countries who were trying to access global markets in order to sell their goods and generate revenue for their families. These artisans face dozens of challenges—ranging from not knowing how to take a photo of their item to not knowing how to complete export documentation. Artistri Sud was created to meet these needs.
About our approach: We believe that ethical, sustainable business can help provide solutions to pressing social problems in the developing world, starting with poverty. And we know that traditional skills and know-how will certainly be lost if craftspeople cannot earn an income from them. We target women in particular because research shows that when women have their own money, they can usually influence how it’s spent, and they spend it on their children’s health and education. And we think this is the way to change the world.
How we work: We work with women artisans and artisan associations who are trying to create an income from their craft. We analyze how their small business works, together with the women’s capacities and assets, as well as their constraints, to figure out what skills they would need to more effectively run their micro-enterprise—in other words, to help them create a sustainable living from their work. Then we implement a training program to help them do just that.
How we manage money: Artistri Sud is committed to ensuring raised funds are used effectively to pursue its mission. Donations are used directly by the organization on training programs in developing countries. As the organization is almost fully volunteer-based, the majority of donations go directly to implementing programs for what we believe is the key to fighting poverty and building better lives; empowering women.